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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging writer makes good against the odds
Because the author couldn't get a publisher, he decided to brazen ahead and self-publish. The book lacks the professional polish of a publishing house, but makes up for it in preserving a vivid sense of the writer's personality, so the book is more like an evening in a bar listening to tall tales that happen to be true. Humphreys honestly reveals the trepidations he began...
Published on January 4, 2007 by Martha Solomon

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Inspired to tour Africa by bike
This book is quite an enjoyable read and should be inspirational to anyone who has been contemplating embarking on an adventure of their own but is hesitating out of fear of not being a hardcore adventurer or athlete or, more importantly, having the bank account to support a long adventure.

Alastair Humphreys paints colorful pictures of the places he rides...
Published on November 9, 2006 by Christopher J. Fast


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging writer makes good against the odds, January 4, 2007
By 
Martha Solomon (Pittsburgh, PA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Because the author couldn't get a publisher, he decided to brazen ahead and self-publish. The book lacks the professional polish of a publishing house, but makes up for it in preserving a vivid sense of the writer's personality, so the book is more like an evening in a bar listening to tall tales that happen to be true. Humphreys honestly reveals the trepidations he began with, while allowing us to experience with him how his fears yielded to respect and pleasure in the people and cultures he got to know. And always the undercurrent of incredible freedom in the midst of the pains and pleasures of his journey. I've never been to the places he pedals through, nor lived as ruggedly close to the land, but Humphreys' enthusiastic writing let me feel as if I had.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Inspired to tour Africa by bike, November 9, 2006
This book is quite an enjoyable read and should be inspirational to anyone who has been contemplating embarking on an adventure of their own but is hesitating out of fear of not being a hardcore adventurer or athlete or, more importantly, having the bank account to support a long adventure.

Alastair Humphreys paints colorful pictures of the places he rides through and of the many people he meets and whose hospitality support his journey from place to place. If anything, this reader was left wanting to learn more about the people and places encountered by Humphreys. The book would have perhaps benefited by having more fleshed out "characters" and a bit more historical/geographical/ethno-cultural information about the regions he rode through, rather than so many references to other travel writers. Humphreys' self-awareness as an outsider looking in is thought provoking. He exposes the assumptions people make about each other based purely on their appearance or nationality.

Humphreys' prose is a bit uneven, alternating between insightful, well crafted sections and somewhat rough sections. Punctuation errors are distracting at times. As Humphreys admits, this self-published book is a bit rough and in need of some professional editing and photographs. I'd like to see the next edition of this book include lots of photographs and detailed maps, so the reader can follow the journey without having to constantly reach for the atlas.

This book's weaknesses may be, paradoxically, its greatest strength. Humphrey's determination to get his book into print in spite of lacking the trappings of a professional writer, such as a publisher, agent, and CV of previous publications, reflect his determination to cross continents on his broken bicycle in spite of lacking the trappings of a "professional adventurer," such as corporate sponsorship, a publicity machine, piles of free promotional gear, and most significantly, a large bank account. That said, I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone interested in cycling and/or travel. I am eagerly awaiting the second volume.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joys of reading Mood of Future Joys, January 11, 2007
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When I picked up this book I was a bit skeptical because I have read a lot of round-the-world travel books, I thought this book would be just like the rest of them. That is until I started reading it. Humphreys brilliantly portrays each country he is riding through, using humor and sharp observation. This book is award worthy, it should be up there with other great travel books and in every great book shelf. Looking foward to part two.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, January 11, 2007
By 
Korey Donahoo (Lincoln, Nebraska, USA) - See all my reviews
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A really amazing adventure and a really great read. Al has honestly changed the way I think about many countries in Africa and about travelling in general. I have recomended this book to many of my wanderlusting friends, and to anyone who appreciates the absurd.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Challenge to Achievement, January 2, 2007
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This book is a fantastic read, especially for those of us who dream of adventure while sitting at our desks, making dinner, or changing a diaper. Though the vicarious thrill was perhaps not the reason Humphreys wrote the book, I did appreciate experiencing it. Especially as one whose "adventures" are limited to one night camping trips, and the occasional suburban bike ride.

Humphreys' writing is direct and personal, which makes the reader feel as if 'Al' had stayed at his house for a few days along his route. The reflections on the cultures and nations he encounters are challenging and thought-provoking, all with a wry humor, that at times results in out-loud laughter. The bits about The Questions were particularly appreciated.

Most of all, the book is a challenge to achievement. Though not all of us can take 4 years to cycle around the world, we can all set high personal goals, and bit by bit, achieve them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alistair is inspirational!, December 4, 2006
I read this book while stationed in Iraq, and it allowed me to completely escape my confined surroundings and explore the world on a bike. I admire Alastair's journey, sympathy, and observations on the size of the world. Alastair strikes a great tone between the physical strain of his long days of lonely cycling and the joys of human contact. This truly epic journey gave Alastair insights into the real lives of the many nations he visits. It's been said before, but a bicycle moves at the perfect speed to really be immersed in the world as you travel. Excellent travel book--please recommend it to everyone!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moods of Future Joys, February 16, 2007
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John Leopold "jleopold" (Thief River Falls, MN USA) - See all my reviews
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Alastair Humphreys recounts an extraordinary adventure of lifetime in a very sympathetic and honest way that makes you immediately 1. like the guy and 2. want to join in the ride! I've read this book 3 times, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey each time. If you've ever dreamt of taking a journey that challenges your ingenuity, pushes you to your limits, and re-defines you as a person you must read this book! I'm anxiously awaiting the release of the next volume in the series.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is why we read books . . ., November 24, 2006
Inspiring. Mesmerizing. Quick and easy. This is a must-read for all who long for adventure and want to see far away places. Sure, the writing is a bit raw at moments, but so is the adventure. No support teams. No flashy sponsorships. One man and his bike going round the world. The adventure is true. The talent for writing is obvious. I can't wait for volume two.

I enjoyed this book as it took me across Africa and challenged me to reflect on my life and priorities. It's inspiring to see someone actually take the high and narrow road, the road less traveled. He crosses a vast land encountering a thousand friends and a soul-crushing loneliness. He finds beauty, frustration, adventure and more questions than answers. The vicarious thrill of it all is why we read books.

Now for my own adventure . . .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gallant Effort, November 25, 2006
Not much more I can add that hasn't already been said in previous reviews. The book is a little rough but then again so was the trip. Mr. Humphreys' journey as well as his self publishing clearly show he isn't one to shrink from a challenge. The author's trek through Africa offered very unique insights of the people and their circumstances in addition to the challenges of biking in such arduous conditions. Bottom line is I highly recommend this book and I look forward to the sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tremendous adventure, November 25, 2006
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Alastair Humphreys has done a great job telling his tale of the beginning of his trip around the world the long way, from England to Cape Town, then the length of the Americas and across Asia from eastern Siberia. This first volume tells of his journey to Cape Town, a largely solo shot often under very trying conditions, but the joy of his meeting many wonderful people along the way, from expats to local villagers, shows through.
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Moods of Future Joys
Moods of Future Joys by Alastair Humphreys (Paperback - November 1, 2007)
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